NetApp, long one of the world's leading storage hardware and software providers, has been repositioning itself for the last year or so to connect to the term "data fabric." As trends start, established companies eventually need to pivot, and that's squarely where the company is pivoting in 2015 and beyond.
In plainer language, NetApp's Data Fabric strategy—yes, they've capitalized the term—aims to project the $6 billion company as a global data management provider. It's been doing the storage and data management thing for more than a generation, but now it's connecting everything to cloud services that users prefer.
In a data fabric, public cloud providers, such as AWS, Rackspace, Dell Cloud, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud and others, become de facto extensions of the enterprise data center.
On Oct. 12 at the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company's Insight technical conference in Las Vegas, it introduced hardware-software-service packages that contain new data-management capabilities for its users to use in the hybrid cloud era. The new offerings enable users to manage data across whatever IT resource they choose, the company said.
News bits from the conference included:
--Data Fabric Solution Essentials, starter kits that make it easier for users to become hybrid cloud ready and quickly see benefits as they evolve their infrastructures. Three new offerings target key IT challenges, focusing on accelerating applications, gaining control of shadow IT, and improving disaster recovery capabilities.
--Data Fabric Enablement Services to help users create their own data fabrics. NetApp experts can help users identify optimal workloads for the cloud and gain the architectural design and deployment insights they need for success.
--Expansion of cloud provider relationships: NetApp is now a Google Cloud Platform Technology Partner. Technology Partners provide tools which integrate with Google Cloud Platform to extend its reach and functionality. NetApp users can choose from more than 275 service providers to craft their hybrid cloud, with support for multi-cloud and multi-directional strategies and integration of resources that are on-premises, near-the-cloud and in-the-cloud.
--Data security, additional media support, volume capacity increases and other enhancements to Cloud ONTAP, NetApp software that allows users to quickly deploy enterprise-grade storage in the cloud and automate data movement to and from their premises and Amazon Web Services.
--Enhanced security and other capabilities for NetApp AltaVault cloud-integrated storage solutions. These solutions speed recovery and reduce risk, enabling users to back up data with security to any cloud.
NetApp Data Fabric Solution Essentials
These are low barrier-to-entry starter kits help users quickly see the benefits of a hybrid cloud model. They were introduced Oct. 12:
--Application Acceleration solution kit: Allows users to deploy a four-node flash and disk cluster for Microsoft SQL Server or Oracle databases. The kit showcases the capabilities of NetApp all-flash and clustered Data ONTAP to protect against data loss, provide consistent performance and deliver data management across flash, disk and cloud resources using a single platform.
--OpenStack solution kit with FlexPod: Enables users to get up and running on an OpenStack private cloud in days, with known costs and proven capabilities. This package empowers corporate IT to deliver competitive cloud services at scale to internal business clients with the same speed and ease of a public cloud, while maintaining data control and reducing cost.
--Snap-to-Cloud DR solution kit showcases the value of the cloud for maintaining business continuity and retaining control of business data for disaster recovery operations. Moving DR operations to the cloud reduces data center space and storage infrastructure, resulting in cost savings and flexibility. This includes a one-year license for the NetApp Cloud ONTAP software subscription in addition to installation services and three years of support.
--Data Fabric Enablement Services: These four new services give users greater confidence in embracing hybrid cloud strategies so they can build their own data fabrics. Organizations gain knowledge of workloads with affinity for the cloud and insight into architecting and deploying a hybrid cloud foundation.